keeping the economy honest

Are you Budget Chic?

Recently, it has been fashion chic to be a smart, budget shopper.  Natalie Portman just wore a $50 H&M Dress to Pre-Oscar Party and Michelle Obama wore a $34.95 H&M dress to the Today Show.  I think they look stunning and call me fashion ignorant, but I can’t tell the difference between those dresses and the pricey designer dresses.  This is basically my point in a previous blog about being Shabby Chic.   There’s beauty in having an intelligent sense of value, where you judge something for what it is and what it offers you, and not duped into overpaying for something that is trendy … ready more


Don’t feel bad for Tiger Woods!

There has been much talk about whether Tiger Woods’ glory days are behind him due to his recent poor performance.  I don’t pretend to be a golf expert, but I don’t think we should feel bad at all for Tiger.   Here’s why…..I think the reason why Tiger Woods was so successful was because during his haydays, golf was not a developed sport such as hockey or basketball.  So, the competition during that time was limited.  There’s no doubt that Tiger is a very talented golfer and worked hard as he was almost unbeatable during the nascence of golf as a popular sport.   As more money he made, the sport also took off and appealed to a wider population.  Many people saw the appeal and entered the sport .  Now, golf is much more developed and widely played internationally by young talents like Rory McIlroy,  Martin Kaymer and 17-year-old Italian Matteo Manassero.   Of the top 10 male golfers, only 4 are Americans and on the female side, I can’t even pronounce their names.  This more depth in competition is a direct cause of Tiger’s recent troubles.  Tiger was overrated before and it’s impossible for anyone to live to that expectation.

If all the kids today dropped their hockey sticks and basketballs, and started curling, I guarantee that at least half of the national curling team would not be there due to a more developed curling sport … read more

Charlie Sheen lost his sweet gig

Charlie Sheen just lost his sweet gig because of his recent radio rant, which led the network to cancel the show.  Too bad, Sheen will have to kiss his fat $1.2 million/episode paycheck goodbye.  Now, that’s a sweet gig by anyone’s standard.  I would like the network to replace Sheen with another actor for $200,000/episode (which is still a sweet gig for 99% of the population)  to save the advertisers $1 million/episode.  Sheen is probably the best actor for this role given his mirroring lifestyle and will get the show more ratings and its advertisers more sales.   But we all know in business, what matters is profit not revenue.  The advertisers might have more revenues with Sheen, but they would have to get more than $1 million in sales per episode to get better profit with Sheen.  Finally, it’s not at all certain that this advertising generates a positive return.  If it did, then why would any company ever cut advertising spending?  … read more


The right way to be a dictator!

The King of Saudi Arabia just announced $36bn of  benefits for his people  in the face of  Arab uprising spreading. Ok, that’s someone who knows how to be a dictator… excuse me, I mean “monarch” since they’re our friends.  King Abdullah’s package gives 18m lower and middle-income Saudi’s new unemployment benefits, education,  housing subsidies, and debt write-offs.  This is what I call dictatorship by bribery.  If you’re cash rich, you can afford to throw a bone to the underclass while still taking most of the pie.  Generally, people can take a lot of injustice and unfairness before they start doing something about it.  It’s only when they’re so desperate and at their wits’ end with no hope for better future do they start to riot and overthrow you.  So the strategy is to keep them just below the desperation line… read more

China, US Debt, Inflation

China holds about $900 billion of U.S. debt and it should be seriously concerned with the debt.  China has spent years holding down the value of its currency to boost exports.   Basically, China is able to sells way more goods to U.S. than the other way around. China then prints yuan to absorb the dollars that flow into the country in exchange for its exports and invests the massive holdings of dollars in US treasury by loaning it back to the US.  Essentially, China is lending Americans money to continue buying Chinese goods.

This interference in free market has created two major problems for China… read more


10 reasons why life is a big poker game

  1. Life and poker are not fair.  If life gives you (7,2) , just make the best of it.
  2. You can study poker and life to give yourself better chances, but there’s never guarantee.
  3. Poker and life are about ROI and Risk management.
  4. You try to control as much as you can, but life and poker are both unpredictable and there’re always things beyond your control.
  5. When you take a bad beat, don’t loose your cool, pick the pieces in your life and move on.
  6. read more

Obama budget to cut deficit by $1.1 trillion

Today’s big news is “Obama budget to cut deficit by $1.1 trillion”
It sounds good, like President Obama is doing something to reduce spending.  But the words debt and deficit are used regularly in the news and often misunderstood… read more

Something just shouldn’t be too cheap

I’m not a vegetarian, in fact I like to have meat at almost every meal. But, I think meat should be eaten in a responsible way… read more

America’s 99ers

Overpriced Advertising Part II

Do you think this GM Superbowl Ad will generate enough sales to cover  the cost of the ad, that’s $3 million plus the production cost? read the rest…